Killer Whale Yanked Trainer Into Tank By Her Ponytail


The details of Dawn Brancheau’s horrifying death by a killer whale at SeaWorld Wednesday continue to develop: The 40-year-old trainer with 16 years of experience was knee deep in water when the whale pulled her under by her long ponytail, authorities say.”Rescuers were not able to immediately jump in and render assistance to Brancheau due to the whale’s aggressive nature,” says a report released Thursday by the Orange County Florida Sheriff’s Department. “She was recovered from the whale by SeaWorld staff members after the animal was coaxed into a smaller pool and lifted out of the water by a large scale/platform.”

Brancheau’s cause of death was “most likely” multiple traumatic injuries and drowning, the report says, citing autopsy results.In the first detailed official account of Wednesday’s attack at the Orlando theme park in front of dozens of horrified visitors, the report says “there are no signs of foul play” and “all evidence and witness statements indicate that the death was a tragic accident.”


SeaWorld Trainer Dies In Killer Whale Attack


Guests at SeaWorld Orlando watched in horror Wednesday as a killer whale fatally attacked a trainer.Dawn Brancheau, 40, was explaining details of a frequently performed show at Shamu Stadium at 2 p.m. when the 12,000-pound male whale named Tilikum pulled her into the tank, where she drowned.About two dozen tourists witnessed the attack from above the tank and from an underwater viewing area, according to the Orlando Sentinel.Witnesses said the whale had grabbed Brancheau by the upper arm or waist. “He was thrashing her around pretty good,” Victoria Biniak tells WKMG-TV. “It was violent.”

Paramedics were called to the theme park but could not revive the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.”It is with great sadness that I report one of our most experienced trainers has drowned in an incident with one of our whales,” park manager Dan Brown says, according to the WKMG.